Gema women condemn mutilation of woman, ask Matiang’i to deregister pro-FGM group

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From left, GEMA Women Council chair Kabura Kabea and members June Waweru, and Hellen Kurutu at Elysian Hotel along Kiambu Road. [Fidelis Kabunyi, Standard]

The Gikuyu, Embu, Meru Association (GEMA) Women Council of Elders is up in arms against the increasing cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) within the Mount Kenya region.

They called on the government to deregister Gwata Ndai with immediate effect over its tolerance of gender-based violence practices like FGM within family setups in the larger Mount Kenya region.

In a petition to Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i, the council said women in the region ought to be assured of their security and protection against FGM practices propagated by Gwata Ndai followers especially in Muranga County.

"We call upon all women and girls to resist these backward practices that hinder human development. All women including faith-based, business, and civic groups must stand up and sacrifice to protect fellow women, daughters, and mothers from abuse and human rights violations," said the lobby group.

Led by Kabura Kabea, June Waweru, and Hellen Kurutu the council called on members of the Gema community to be vigilant and promptly report abuses against women to relevant authorities.

"We call upon women at the grassroots to strongly reject FGM, seek help when they see signs of GBV and FGM in the home, call for help and run away and therefore let us fight together," they said.

They urged religious institutions within the region to dedicate one Sunday per month to preach against the vice that has been gaining root in various parts of the Mt Kenya region.

At the same time, they urged Chief Justice Martha Koome to ensure perpetrators of FGM are jailed in accordance with the law.

"The Judiciary must serve justice to women and dispense justice with tough deterrent measures to curb these harmful violations against women," they said. The women council further asked Women Representatives to advocate for resources in the fight against GBV and to ensure the establishment and equipping of five rescue centers in every county within the region.

They condemned the latest incident in Muranga in which a 30-year-old woman from Kariti Kandara was allegedly mutilated by her husband who she claimed joined a cult a few months ago.

She said her husband demanded that she undergoes FGM as his faith does not allow him to live with uncircumcised women in the house.

The man allegedly threatened to circumcise their three children but she was to go undergo the primitive act first.

True to his word,  the man in the company of 30 other men stormed their home on June 9 and mutilated her private parts.

The mother of three said she underwent the ordeal on May 9. [Ndungu Gachane, Standard]

Prior to that, the men had camped outside their house where they slaughtered a goat to perform a ritual before getting inside the house. 

The woman said she relocated to a different house but her husband followed her and allegedly removed two iron sheets as a warning that they were still pursuing her.

The mother of three says she is living in fear and that she is seeking protection from the government.

“I fear for my safety and my children’s because the man might decide to harm us and he could be tracking us everywhere we go,” she remarked.

She said they have lived together for 12 years and cannot understand why he would turn against her.

She said she has since developed health complications as she is not able to pass urine and has been bleeding since the attack.

“I was first treated at a facility in Kandara, but the wounds have not healed that’s why I came to Murang’a hospital,” she explained.

The mother of three is seeking justice for the act committed against her and stern action taken against the man.  

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